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Most In-depth Study ( Must Have )

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rook Endgames - Lesson 13 - Rook & Pawn versus Rook Part 1

When learning rook and pawn endgames it is really a good idea to start with the absolute basics. By this I'm referring to scenarios in which both sides have a rook but one player has a pawn too. If only rooks were involved then a defender could adequately prevent a pawn from promoting simply by getting behind it. However, the presence of kings naturally complicates things. Essentially, I'm going to split Rook and Pawn vs Rook Endgame lessons into two parts: one in which the defending king is able to blockade the pawn and the other where it cannot. I this lesson we will deal with the former. So lets get things going.

Defending King on the Case

By this, I'm referring to the defending king being able to have an active role in blockading the enemy pawn. Within this category I want to discuss two types of pawn: the outside pawn (a-, b-, g- and h-) and the central pawn (c-, d-, e- and f-).

The Outside Pawn

When blockaded, a rook's pawn provides fewer winning chances than any other pawn. See below.


The following position is slightly different. See below.


The Centre Pawn

Included in this category is the bishop's pawn. As examples with c- and f-pawns are essentially the same as ones with d- and e-pawns, this is where I will start. See the next one.



WARNING: Passive defence does not work against a centre pawn.

However, one must not panic and vow here and now never to be a pawn down. First of all, because you'll never be able to uphold this vow(!) and, secondly, because there are other defensive techniques available. See below.


It is completely clear that understanding and being able to employ this third rank (Philidor's) technique could salvage you a draw or two, but occasionally you may not be able to reach our basic position (for example, if you have just captured to liquidate a pair of pawns, reducing the situation from 2 v 1 to 1 v 0).
Now time for another one.


This concludes the discussion on the situation where the defending king is able to blockade the pawn. In the next lesson we will deal with the  situation where the defending king cannot blockade the pawn in Rook & Pawn vs Rook Endgames. After that we are going to introduce more pawns into the picture & will try to deal with them in much detail. 

Until then, Goodbye & Stay Tuned !

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Rook Endgames - Lesson 12 - Rook versus more Pawns

The topics up for discussion in this section include situations in which the rook is up against several pawns. Of course there are millions of scenarios that could be dreamt up in this category, while factors such as how far advanced the pawns are and how strong they are in terms of whether they are connected or isolated certainly come into play. However, first up I'd have to observe that the title in itself is deceptive. One mustn't forget that we are really talking about king and rook versus king and pawns. The king with the rook must be able to have a major role if the rook is to triumph.

TIP: The first step in these situations is to identify the 'danger' pawns.


In our previous example White was rightly favourite for the full point, but he did have to work quite hard. White has an easier plan in the next example in which he is in the arguably more realistic situation of still having a pawn left himself.


Rook versus three connected Pawns

Although it occurs relatively rarely in practice, as many seem intrigued by the prospect I will just say a few words about the fascinating scenario of a rook (and king!) versus king and three connected pawns. See below.


In the the lesson Rook Endgames  - Lesson 7  - Pushing Passed Pawns it was asserted that 'passed pawns are meant to be pushed'. The following position would certainly provide the unprepared with a headache!



Actually, I've just noticed something amusing. If we revisit the last example but instead with Black to move (it was White in the example), then we can see that the same positions arise.

WARNING: Beware of under-promotions!

Oops, sorry I just did!

That's it with Rook vs. Pawn Endgames . In the next few lessons we are going to concentrate on Rook and Pawn vs. Rook Endgames. So don't miss them. It's will be easier for you track what's happening here if you choose one the following subscription options. So what's bugging you ?

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Rook Endgames - Lesson 11 - Rook versus Connected Pawns

NOTE: Generally connected pawns are superior to isolated pawns in rook endings.
Though I am obviously making quite a lot of them in these lessons, usually I am wary of making generalizations, as it is nearly always possible to find exceptions to the rule. Clearly, two connected passed pawns on their home squares aren't going to be as worrying to someone as two isolated ones on the seventh rank, and the above note refers to pawns of similar advancement.

I will return to the isolated versus connected pawns debate with rooks present in future lessons but for now let me talk about situations involving a rook against connected pawns
.
Nobody can deny that Black's pawns look like a tasty duo. It is amazing, though, how weaker players can overestimate their value in situations such as this.
WARNING: Never underestimate the value of pieces in endgames.


TIP: Pawns frequently become more relevant in endgames but never forget that a rook is worth five points.
If we shuffle everything up the board one rank then obviously the same procedure would be applicable. Bringing all the pieces down one rank, though, requires White to employ more subtlety. See below.


That Sixth Rank Myth

We have just seen an example where a king and rook defeat a king and two connected pawns on the sixth rank. What then should we make of the frequently touted remark that 'two connected passed pawns on the sixth rank always defeat a rook'. Clearly that refers to instances where the defending king (i.e. the one paired with the rook) isn't on hand to help. Check out this following example.


TIP: Two connected pawns on the sixth rank will defeat a rook provided the rook can't win one of the pawns immediately, the king partnering the rook can't have a significant input and the king with the pawns isn't detrimentally placed.

One would imagine that 'a significant input' would refer to the king being instantly active in the role of stopping the pawns. However, there is another way in which it can have an influence, as illustrated below.

Rook_Endgame/sixth rank myth 2.pgn

The following example is very similar to the previous one. Here Black has the option of running his king to the queenside but, as seen in the note to Black's first move, this doesn't actually help his cause.


So in this lesson we have learnt quite a lot. Now things gets a little complicated when more pawns come into the picture. Well there is nothing to worry. We will take that issue in the next lesson. Until then Goodbye  & Stay Tuned !.

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MTel Masters Cancelled - Full Interview with Silvio Danailov

There will be no MTel Masters this year. The sponsor is not willing to support both the tournament and the upcoming World Championship match in Sofia, between Anand and Topalov. This was revealed already five days ago by Silvio Danailov in an interview with Bulgarian newspaper Trud, but only emerged in the chess media yesterday.
On March 26th Bulgarian daily Trud published an interview with Silvio Danailov, organizer, manager of Veselin Topalov and executive director of the Grand Slam Chess Association. Yesterday Chessdom published a full English translation. The most newsworthy is the final part.

Silvio Danailov speaks out his mind in a long interview 
Mtel Masters 2010 will take 1 year break

With the approaching Anand - Topalov World Chess Championship match, the media in Bulgaria is becoming more and more active. The top notch information last week came from an interview with Silvio Danailov by Antoni Jordanov for Trud (the second largest daily in the country with 500 000 readers). Danailov speaks about politics, Magnus Carlsen, the coming World Chess Championship, Vishy Anand and his secret seconds, the preparation of Veselin Topalov at Canary Islands, and confirms what has been rummored for a while - Mtel Masters 2010 will take a break and will not happen this year.

Mr. Danailov, why do you want to become the president of European chess?

The ECU is respectable institution and has potential, because it has 54 member states. People from other countires initiated talks with me, these people want ECU to be headed by someone with professionalism and new ideas. Up until now I have been more of a businessman in chess, now there is a need to do politics.

Are the elections predominantly based on politics or is it a question of ideas?

I have no experience in politics, but others convinced me that I can do it and with the right strategy can achieve good results. The people in chess know very well what each candidate can bring. The elections will be based on a mixture of politics and vision. It is believed that my opponent will be Ali Nihat Yazici from Turkey, who has his own lobby. The fight will be challenging.

It seems as if the field you worked in so far is too narrow for you

In my carreer I have practically accomplished everything I have dreamed of. Or even more. No one believed that a Bulgarian man can become world champion – Vesko Topalov and I made it happen. I organized the supertournament “M-tel masters” in Sofia and introduced the Sofia rules worldwide; along with some friends we created the “Grand Slam” in Chess. In this way my professional career reached its ceiling. I did not give thought to this move, but the challenge is big. Also, people convinced me that I am the right figure. So, I am entering politics. Chess politics.

There is another ceiling – President of FIDE

No, no, while Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is the leader of FIDE, it would not cross my mind. After that, I do not know. In chess we are accustomed to play move by move and not to rush things. Because rushed action lead to wrong decisions. So, let these elections pass first. If I succeed, it will be prestigious for Bulgaria as well.

There will also be the election of FIDE President – between Ilymzhinov and and Karpov

It is very intriguing. Now everyone awaits with interest who is the Russian Federation going to support because this will, to a large extent, determine the favorite to win. But no matter what happens, every one of them has his advantages. Ilymzhinov is already 15 years excelent President, doing a lot of things for chess, but Karpov is an extremely dangerous opponent as a politician – very intelligent and swift.

They are both wealthy. Is money going to play?

In elections money always comes into play.

And in your case?

My advantages are a professional career, the results, and the ideas. The candidate from Turkey has experience in politics, after all he is vice President of FIDE. I do not know whether he is wealthy, but I am aware that he has strong back up from Turkey. Because this is part of the government strategy of European community integration for the future.

Lets talk about the Topalov - Anand Match. What is new from Spain – both Topalov and you are there?

Vesko is preparing at the Canary Islands, his preparation is going according to schedule and there is nothing out of the ordinary.

Aren’t you concerned by the form of his second Ivan Cheparinov, who performed poorly on the EICC?

Of course I am concerned, It would have been much better for him to have finished with better results and to be more motivated. Then the sentiment would have been better. Nevertheless, I hope that Ivan is a professional and since he has always had great ideas, now will be the same. Let us not forget that Vesko has also undergone such dark periods. It happens to every sports person and one should not fall into despair.

And what about the shape of Vesko, do you have any concerns?

Naturally, I am concerned, but we are doing everything we can to reach our goal. The rest is destiny.
How are you going to comment on the performance of the Bulgarians on the EICC, where among the men all our representatives are ranked below 70th place?
Chess is not much more different from the rest of the sports, and as everywhere else there are declines in chess as well. I expected much more from Cheparinov, for the rest I am not surprised. However, I am pleased by Kiprian Barbatov - he has a lot to learn, but is on the right track. We, the federation, and me personally, are doing whatever we can. Maybe we will include him in the team for the Chess Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk.

Is the gap between Topalov and the rest [of the Bulgarian players] becoming too large?

Topalov is a phenomenon, it is very hard to compare the others to him. The same is the case in India with Anand and the rest of the chess players.

What does the intelligence on Anand bring – can he surprise Vesko and you?

There can always be surprise – chess is developing with a fast pace, computers help, newer and newer versions are created. He might surprise us with the choice of seconds. For now they are clear. We know that he is in the midst of hard preparation, nothing else. With him, everything is a deep secret. He has made no public announcement and has not shown on public places, only at the Bundesliga and Corus in January. However, at both places he was obviously saving himself and did not show anything special. Anand will have less psychological pressure in Sofia. And it is natural that everyone in Bulgaria expects Vesko to win.

How are you going to evaluate another duo – Magnus Carlsen and Gary Kasparov, with which you might clash someday?

They have accomplished outstanding results, but have recently split for some reason - I am not aware which, but it is good for us. I am content from professional point of view because this duo was a killer one. Carlsen is dangerous to everyone, but it is one thing to have Carlsen with Kasparov and another thing to have Carlsen without him.

It is already clear that there is not going to be a supertournament Mtel Masters?

We discussed extensively the idea with the sponsor, since the deadlines did not allow us to organize two big tournaments for such a short period of time – the match with Anand and Mtel Masters.
One of the explanations was that the match with Anand will generate great interest and the tournament will fade away. I did not share this opinion and believe that it is quite the contrary – the popularity of chess after the match would have been greater and the tournament could only benefit from it. Nevertheless, the sponsor decided and they chose not to have Mtel Masters this year, they will only sponsor Topalov personally during the match.

Isn't this going to eventually have a repercussion on the reputation of the tournament for the coming year?

It will have a repercussion, but in history there have been such cases with other tournaments – both with Corus and Linares.

But also you are falling in a uncomfortable situation as ideologist and creator of the Grand Slam, part of which is Mtel Masters.

Yes, it is not pleasant. But, regretfully, now there is nothing more to be done. There is a temporary crisis, the same in the rest of the world. Chess, after all, is not such an expensive sport and I hope that next year there will be no longer problems
The main sponsors of the Anand-Topalov match are the Bulgarian government, MTel (the largest GSM mobile phone operator in Bulgaria) and Spectrum Net (a Bulgarian internet and telecommunication company). A total sum of 3 million Euros has been collected: 2 million for prize fund, 400,000 FIDE taxes, and 600,000 for organizational costs. The match will take place April 21-May 12, with the first game being played on April 23rd.
The cancellation of the MTel Masters can be considered a major blow for both Silvio Danailov and the Grand Slam Chess Association. As a Presidential candidate for the European Chess Union, Danailov has something to explain during his campaign. Besides, he has some problems to solve with his Grand Slam colleagues.
For the 2010 Masters Final (this year scheduled to be held in both Bilbao and Shanghai), only Magnus Carlsen and Veselin Topalov qualified so far. Carlsen won both the Nanjing tournament and Corus, Topalov Linares. But to our knowledge no other Grand Slam tournament will be held until September; the Bazna tournament in Romania still hasn’t been officially included in the Grand Slam.
On a final note, we discovered that the domain mtelmasters.com, where the official websites of the first five MTel Masters tournaments were stalled, expired…

Links

Article Source : Chessvibes & Chessdom

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A Master of the Slow Game, Who’s a Speed Demon ?

The best players in the world are ranked on their ability to play slow, or classical, chess, in which each side has at least a few hours for a game. None of them are slouches at blitz chess, in which an entire game lasts five minutes or less, but it puts a premium on tactical skill and quick thinking — which is usually the forte of younger players. 



So it is not surprising that Magnus Carlsen, 19, who is the No. 1-ranked player in the world in classical chess, and 22-year-old Hikaru Nakamura, No. 17, look to be the best in the world at blitz chess.
Carlsen, a Norwegian, is the reigning world blitz champion, having won the title in November at a tournament in Moscow. Carlsen beat a stellar field that included Viswanathan Anand of India, 40, the current classical world champion, who has long been considered one of the world’s best blitz players. The one blemish on Carlsen’s achievement was that Nakamura, the United States champion, was not invited to the Moscow event, which included 22 players.
That omission seemed particularly glaring two weeks later when Nakamura beat Carlsen in the final of the BNbank Blitz championship in Oslo. 

Nakamura reasserted his dominance last weekend by winning the 11th Dos Hermanas blitz tournament, the strongest online event of the year. Carlsen did not compete; he was in Nice, France, playing in the annual Amber tournament. (Coverage of that event, which ended this week, is at nytimes.com/gambit.)

Dos Hermanas was hosted by the Internet Chess Club, where players often adopt nicknames. Nakamura’s is Smallville, the hometown of Superman. Get it?

Among his nicer victories was a quarterfinal win over Federico Perez Ponsa (nickname: Federicov), an international master from Argentina. In the top diagram, Nakamura outmaneuvered his opponent. The game ended 24 ... Rc7 25 Qd6 Rc3 26 bc3 Qc8 27 Qa3 Qc4 28 Qb2 a4 29 Nd2 Qe2 30 Qc1 a3 31 Nb3 a2 32 h3 Qb5 33 Nd2 Qa4 34 Qa1 b5 35 Kh2 Qc2 36 Nf3 Qb1, and White resigned.
In the final, Nakamura beat Yaroslav Zinchenko (Megayarick), a Ukrainian grandmaster. During the fourth game of the match, Nakamura took advantage of a blunder. In the bottom diagram, Zinchenko should have played 41 ... Qd2, which would likely have led to a draw. Instead, he played 41 ... Qg6 and lost after 42 Kb2 Qh7 43 Qb4 Kd7 44 Qd4 Ke8 45 Qa4 Kd8 46 Rd2 Kc7 47 Qa7 Kc6 48 Qh7 Kb5 49 Qb7 Ka5 50 Ka3 Rc4 51 bc4 e5 52 Qb5, mate.

Aticle Source : NY Times 
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Can Karpov Be President of Chess Federation?

The former world champion Anatoly Karpov announced on 13th March,2010 that he was running for president of the World Chess Federation.
Karpov is trying to unseat Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has been president of the federation (known as FIDE, its initials in French), since 1995. Ilyumzhinov is also the president of Kalmykia, a small Russian republic on the Caspian Sea.
The federation president is elected for a five-year term, and there is no limit on how many times he (or she) can be re-elected.
Karpov would not be the first ex-champion to serve as FIDE’s president. Max Euwe, the fifth world champion (1935-37), led the federation from 1970-78, a period of exceptional turmoil and interest in the game.
Karpov was a favorite of the Kremlin during his decade as champion from 1975 to 1985 — which endlessly rankled his successor, Garry Kasparov. Though Karpov publicly protested the suspension of his 1984-85 title match against Kasparov by Florencio Campomanes, Ilyumzhinov’s predecessor, Kasparov charged — and many believed — that it was done at the behest of the Kremlin, which was worried that Karpov was on the verge of collapse and would lose the title. The suspension only put off the inevitable, and Kasparov went on to win the championship later in 1985.
Ilyumzhinov was elected president in 1995. His tenure has been marked by controversies and complaints, partly because the federation has continually changed the manner in which a world champion is selected. That was one of the problems that Karpov cited in announcing his candidacy.
Karpov will certainly win wide support because of his notoriety, but it will be difficult to defeat Ilyumzhinov. In 2005, Bessel Kok, a former chief executive of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, an electronic clearinghouse for banks, ran unsuccessfully against Ilyumzhinov. Though Kok had excellent credentials and is, like Ilyumzhinov, well off financially, he lost because Ilyumzhinov cultivated the support of many of the world’s smaller chess countries. The federation runs on a one-nation, one vote system, so winning the support of Ghana is as important as earning backing from the United States. In this respect, Ilyumzhinov, who is liberal with his money and his favors, is a formidable opponent.

Article Source : NY Times Gambit Blog

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Vasily Smyslov, 1921-2010, An Appreciation

It is not surprising that accolades have poured in from all over the world on the death of Vasily Smyslov, the seventh world champion. Though Smyslov was the titleholder for only a year, he was among the world’s best players for decades and his games had a certain clarity to them that was widely admired.
He did not play speculatively like Mikhail Tal, or adhere to a set of scientific principals, like his great rival, Mikhail Botvinnik. He was not stubbornly dogmatic, like Bobby Fischer, or a technician, like Anatoly Karpov. Though he drew inspiration from Alexander Alekhine, his style was unique. Boris Spassky has often been described as a “universal” player because he was at home in any type of position, but for people who want to learn how to play chess well, studying Smyslov’s games might be more fruitful.
In every situation, in every game, he always tried to find the best move. No more, no less. In an interview five years ago, Vladimir Kramnik, the world champion from 2000 to 2007, said of Smyslov,
He is truth in chess! Smyslov plays correctly, truthfully and has a natural style. By the way, why do you think he lacks that aura of mystique like Tal or Capablanca? Because Smyslov is not an actor in chess, his play is neither artistic nor fascinating. But I am fond of his style. I would recommend a study of Smyslov’s games to children who want to know how to play chess because he plays the game how it should be played: his style is the closest to some sort of ‘virtual truth’ in chess. He always tried to make the strongest move in each position. He has surpassed many other of the World Champions in the number of strongest moves made. As a professional, this skill impresses me. I know that spectators are more interested in flaws … ups and downs. But from the professional standpoint, Smyslov has been underestimated.
It may be apocryphal, but a quote attributed to him was, “I will play 40 good moves. If you play 40 good moves, we will draw.” Given his approach to the game, the quote rings true.
His victory at the Zurich Candidates tournament in 1953 was one of the great feats in chess history. Though there is plenty of room for argument, it was one of the strongest tournaments of all time — and Smyslov buried the competition, losing only one game.
Though Smyslov was clearly best known as a chess player, he had a great love for music. He believed that the two were interrelated. In his book, “Smyslov’s 125 Selected Games,” (Cadogan Chess Books), he wrote,
My study of chess was accompanied by a strong attraction to music, and it was probably thanks to this that from childhood I became accustomed to thinking of chess as an art, and have never regarded it as anything else, for all the science and sport involved in it. And, moreover, an art which in some ways is closer to music than it is customary to think. Perhaps chess and music are drawn together by laws of harmony and beauty which are difficult to formulate and difficult to grasp, or perhaps by something else.
At parties and informal gatherings, he was known to suddenly start singing and he had a powerful voice, having tried out (and almost been accepted) at the Bolshoi Opera. The video below was posted on YouTube last October and purports to be a recording of Smyslov singing.
The games following this blog entry are some of Smyslov’s greatest games. Readers are invited to submit others.

Paul Keres(Loss) vs. Vasily Smyslov(Win)

Replay the game»
Vasily Smyslov(Win) vs. Vladimir Mikhailovich Liberzon(Loss)
Replay the game»
Vasily Smyslov(Win) vs. Zoltan Ribli(Loss)
Article Source : NY Times Gambit Blog
 
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Singer Vasily Smyslov - Listen him Sing

Although Vassily Vassilievich Smyslov, who died last Saturday, was best known as a chess player and World Champion, he had a great love for music. "My study of chess was accompanied by a strong attraction to music," he wrote, "and it was probably thanks to this that from childhood I became accustomed to thinking of chess as an art." Listen to Smyslov sing Stenka Razin

Vasily Smyslov, 1921 – 2010

Vasily Smyslov died on 27th March 2010 in Moscow, just three days after his 89th birthday. He had checked into the Botkin Clinic earlier in the week, complaining of heart problems.

Smyslov in Reykjavik

"The news of our dear friend Vasily Vasiliyevich passing made me very sad," writes Einar S. Einarsson from Reykjavik. "Although it was perhaps not completely unexpected, it still came as a shock. He was for sure one of the greats and leaves a big vacuum in the chess world. I send his family and Russian chess friends my deepest sympathy and condolences. There will be one minute silence as a tribute to his memory at the KR Chess Club this evening while the chess clocks will tick." Einar sent us the following pictures from his personal album:

In the picture you may have some doubts about the "B.Spassky" label in the upper image...

... but it is true – take a look at a full frontal with with young, long-haired Boris Vasilievich
"Because of our close acquaintance and friendship I often thought about him and could feel his gentle presence in remote watching his cartoon (by Masec Oto) on the wall of my study. I bought the original in Novi Sad in 1990, looking at his games or listening to his singing from the CD he presented me with some years ago.

Smyslov the singer

Here are two articles in the New York Times blog by Dylan Loeb McClain:
In the second on McClain tells us that although Smyslov was clearly best known as a chess player, he had a great love for music. He believed that the two were interrelated. In his book, “Smyslov’s 125 Selected Games” he wrote:
My study of chess was accompanied by a strong attraction to music, and it was probably thanks to this that from childhood I became accustomed to thinking of chess as an art, and have never regarded it as anything else, for all the science and sport involved in it. And, moreover, an art which in some ways is closer to music than it is customary to think. Perhaps chess and music are drawn together by laws of harmony and beauty which are difficult to formulate and difficult to grasp, or perhaps by something else.
At parties and informal gatherings, he was known to suddenly start singing and he had a powerful voice, having tried out (and almost been accepted) at the Bolshoi Opera. The video below was posted on YouTube last October and purports to be a recording of Smyslov singing Stenka Razin.

Baritone Vasily Smyslov. At the age of 75 he produced his first CD of Russian romances.
The song is quite famous and deals with the exploits of a 17th century Russian hero. Stenka Timofeyevich Razin, born in 1630, died in 1671, was a Cossack leader who headed a major uprising against the Tsarist bureaucracy in southern Russia. He started off as a diplomat, a pilgrim and then a robber chief who extracted fees from vessels passing up and down the Volga. He sailed into the Caspian Sea, ravaged the Persian coasts and massacring the inhabitants.

Stenka Razin sailing in the Caspian Sea (painting by Vasily Surikov in the
Russian Museum, St Petersburg)
He established a Cossack republic along the whole length of the Volga, and then advanced against Moscow. Razin was ultimately routed and fled down the Volga. In 1671 he was captured and taken to Moscow, where, after torture, he was quartered alive in the Red Square. The whole story reminds one of William Wallace, the Scottish independence hero of the Mel Gibson extravaganza Braveheart. Common people were fascinated by the adventures of Stenka Razin. He became the subject of a symphonic poem by Alexander Glazunov and a cantata by Shostakovich. But most famously Stenka Razin is the hero of a popular Russian folk song, written by Dmitri Sadovnikov.








Russian Transcription English
Из-за острова на стрежень,
На простор речной волны,
Выплывают расписные,
Острогрудые челны.
Iz-za ostrova na strezhen',
Na prostor rechnoy volny,
Vyplyvayut raspisnye,
Ostrogrudye chelny.
From beyond the wooded island
To the river wide and free
Proudly sailed the arrow-breasted
Ships of Cossack yeomanry.
На переднем Стенька Разин,
Обнявшись, сидит с княжной,
Свадьбу новую справляет,
Сам веселый и хмельной.
Na perednem Sten'ka Razin,
Obnyavshis', sidit s knyazhnoy,
Svad'bu novuyu spravlyaet,
Sam veselyi i khmel'noy.
On the first is Stenka Razin
With his princess by his side
Drunken holds in marriage revels
With his beauteous young bride
Позади их слышен ропот:
Нас на бабу променял!
Только ночь с ней провозился
Сам наутро бабой стал . . . .
Pozadi ikh slyschen ropot:
Nas na babu promenyal!
Tol'ko noch' s nej provozilsja
Sam nautro baboy stal . . . .
From behind there comes a murmur
"He has left his sword to woo;
One short night and Stenka Razin
Has become a woman, too."
Этот ропот и насмешки
Слышит грозный атаман,
И могучею рукою
Обнял персиянки стан.
Etot ropot i nasmeshki
Slyshit groznyi ataman,
I mogucheju rukoju
Obnjal persijanki stan.
Stenka Razin hears the murmur
Of his discontented band
And his lovely Persian princess
He has circled with his hand.
"Волга, Волга, мать родная,
Волга, русская река,
Не видала ты подарка
От донского казака!
"Volga, Volga, mat' rodnaya,
Volga, russkaya reka,
Ne vidala ty podarka
Ot donskovo kazaka!
Volga, Volga, Mother Volga
Wide and deep beneath the sun,
You have never seen such a present
From the Cossacks of the Don.
Мощным взмахом поднимает
Он красавицу княжну
И за борт ее бросает
В набежавшую волну.
Moshchnym vzmakhom podnimaet
On krasavitsu knyazhnu
I za bort eyo brosaet
V nabezhavshuyu volnu.
Now, with one swift mighty motion
He has raised his bride on high
And has cast her where the waters
Of the Volga roll and sigh.

Article Source : Chessbase

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Gareyev Captures JNBS UWI Masters in Jamaica

This is not just any event – it took place on the campus grounds of the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, nestled in a lush valley, one of the most scenic areas in Greater Kingston. On the free day participants could typically scramble up waterfalls or swim with dolphins. The chess action was dominated by Uzbek GM Timur Gareyev from the University of Texas.


Timur Gareyev captures JNBS UWI Masters

By Zachary Ramsay, UWI Chess Society

Uzbek grandmaster Timur Gareyev from the University of Texas in Brownsville completed his domination of the JNBS UWI Masters when he defeated Jamaican FIDE Master Jomo Pitterson at the Assembly Hall, University of the West Indies Mona, Jamaica. He collected a total of eight points from nine games, thus gaining the title of Caribbean Collegiate Champion.



David Mullings, Manager of eChannels and Discount Business of the Jamaica National Building Society, makes the first move on the game between GM Gareyev (right) and IM Margvelashvili (left), while Dr. Thelora Reynolds, the Director of Student Services (UWI, Mona) looks on


Gareyev (left) collects his prize for Caribbean Collegiate Champion from David Mullings, Manager of eChannels and Discount Business of the Jamaica National Building Society


GM elect Giorgi Margvelashvili from the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, and IM Marko Zivanic from the University of Texas in Dallas followed in second and third place respectively, with 7.5 and 6.5 points. National Master Shane Matthews of Jamaica, placed an impressive fourth, after securing a well-fought draw with IM Margvelashvili. 


IM Margvelashvili (left) collects his prize for second place

IM Zivanic (left) collects his prize for third place
Marcus Joseph, the National Champion of Trinidad and Tobago and a student of the UWI St. Augustine campus, made an exciting comeback when he defeated both Jamaica’s top players, FM Warren Elliott and Swedish FM Bengt Hammar.

Daren Wisdom captured the UWI Open Championship, after placing ahead of National Master Mark Holness on tiebreak, after both had finished on five points. UWI’s National Master Damion Davy, captured third place in the UWI Open Championship with 4.5 points, after splitting the point in a very close encounter with long-time rival National Master Russell Porter.


Daren Wisdom (left) is the UWI Open Champion 2010

In other sections, over two hundred participants sparred for the sectional titles. Lawrence Foreman and Justin Lowe won the Under 12 section, while Shreyas Smith captured the Under 16 section, all on perfect scores. Rachel Miller, Elias Issa and Aldeam Facey were victorious in the Beginners section.


NM Damion Davy (left) is the top University player in the Open Sections
Chancellor Hall (UWI), led by National Master Damion Davy, dominated the Inter-hall Chess Competition, when they flanked Rex Nettleford Hall 3-0 in the finals; this after turning back top seeds Preston Hall.



Marcus Joseph, the National Champion of Trinidad and Tobago (far left) tackles National Master Shane Matthews of Jamaica, while National Master Geoffrey Byfield (far right) puts up a fight against International Master Margvelasvhili



The Open Sections, in which over 200 participants in age groups and skill levels

The tournament was organized by the UWI Chess Society, of the University of the West Indies Mona, Jamaica; and was designed to promote chess both at the university and national level. President of the UWI Chess Society, Zachary Ramsay said he was “proud of the involvement of the young chess players” and sees the second staging of this tournament as being in keeping with the mandate of the Society as they seek to incorporate chess into the culture of the University and improve the intellectual drive and capacity of its students while striving to challenge a new generation of Caribbean chess players.


GM Timur Gareyev gives a simultaneous exhibition

Part of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the improvement of the National Children's Home, the Society’s outreach project. The event was sponsored by the Office of the Principal, UWI, Mona, The Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), American Airlines, The Gleaner, National Commercial Bank, Pages Café and Supreme Ventures.


Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios, another popular tourist attraction that the participants
visited; guests have the opportunity to swim with and touch dolphins

The popular tourist attraction, Dunns River Falls in Ocho Rios...

...which the participants visited on the rest day

International participants enjoying a drink of coconut water

NM Malaku Lorne displaying his fancy footwork in a recreational football game

Video impressions of the event


About the University of the West Indies Mona

The University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica was established in 1948 as a college of the University of London. It gained full University status in 1962. The Mona Campus, located in Northern Kingston, encompasses 653 acres of land formerly part of two large sugar estates, Papine and Mona. Scattered throughout the campus are the famous historic ruins of a Roman-style aqueduct, water wheel, and other remnants of the sugar works which once stood on the site.

Arial view of Mona Campus – explore in the above frame or in a larger map
The campus is nestled in a lush valley embraced by Long Mountain to the south and the southernmost peaks of the famous Blue Mountain Range to the North. Mona is perhaps one of the most scenic areas in Greater Kingston, with the surrounding mountains providing a verdant backdrop which enhances the serene atmosphere of the campus.

The Annex building at the University of the West Indies Mona


The Chapel at the University, which displays beautiful historic architecture

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Chess Classic Mainz 2010 - Back to the Roots

The world economic crisis is being felt in chess. In Bulgaria the the annual MTel tournament has been cancelled this year, and the very popular Mainz Chess Classic has been reduced to a three-day simul and open. Still, two world champions are part of the former, and a very large elite field of GMs is expected to play in the latter, which carries a prize fund of €30,000.

Press release

Chess Classic Mainz 2010 – Back to the roots

"Making a virtue out of necessity" is the central theme of the 17th Chess Classic Mainz. From 06 – 08 August 2010 the major international rapid chess event in the world will be played in Mainz. The Chess Tigers would have loved to present a whole week of top level chess in all its beauty and diversity, as we did in previous editions, but in this difficult economic times many companies do not have the financial resources anymore to to support sport events.
However, the Chess Tigers are still very grateful to announce the Chess Classic Mainz this year in a different format, that goes back to the roots of the first Chess Classic tournament of 1994, which was organized in Frankfurt. Just like the first-ever Chess Classic, we will be able to present two simultanious exhibitions and a rapid chess open tournament. In the simuls no less than two world champions will battle it out with amateurs: Chess World Champion Viswanathan Anand and his female counterpart Alexandra Kosteniuk, who does not only hold the title in classical chess, but also in Chess960.

Women's and Chess960 world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk
There is another small, but important difference to the 1994 edition: we upgraded the the rapid chess open to the Grenke Rapid World Championship. Nothing new is the top-level field with world-class grandmasters, the renowned presentation and the excellent playing conditions in the Rheingoldhalle in Mainz. It is an open tournament, and the winner will be crowned rapid chess world champion.

The main sponsor Wolfgang Grenke, CEO of Grenke Leasing,
with World Champion Viswanathan Anand
The Chess Tigers would like to thank their sponsors for the fantastic support in the past nine years. The tenth edition of the Chess Classic in Mainz is sponsored by GRENKE Group, FiNet AG, Livingston GmbH, Hilton Mainz, Congress Centre Mainz, Stadtwerke Mainz AG and our Prime Partners ChessBase, DGT and Schach Niggemann. These companies are able to provide sponsorship in different ways to make the Chess Classic once again a great event. The prize fund for the rapid chess world championship is no less than €30,000. Chess960, the exciting chess variant that has been pushed in Mainz and even made it in the offical FIDE rules, has to take a break for a year. We are confident, that we will be able to carry on with Chess960 next year.
Anand and Chess Classic organizer Hans-Walter Schmitt at last year's simul

It is no secret that the 15. World Champion Viswanathan Anand is one of the closest friends of the Chess Tigers and it goes without saying that he will play a part in the 10th Chess Classic Mainz. On the first day of the event, on 06 August, Anand will play a standard simul on 40 boards. On the same day, Alexandra Kosteniuk will play a 20-board Chess960 simul. As you can see, Chess960 will still have a place in Mainz!

Armenian GM Levon Aronian, winner of the 2009 Ordix Open

The Grenke Rapid World Championship will also be a treat for chess lovers: Levon Aronian, who is the current rapid chess world champion and the winner of the 2009 ORDIX Open, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov will play the open tournament to face a unique mixture of numerous world-class grandmasters and amateurs. You do not get the chance too often to play in a tournament with so many top players and with a little luck you may face a top ten player or even a world champion on the other side of the board!

World-class GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan
The Open will be played in the same established format as in the previous editions. On 07/08 August 11 rounds will be played, in which the time control is 20 minutes + 5 seconds per move. The ambitious Chess Tigers organization team, who all work on a voluntary basis, will present the Chess Classic with all their experience and power on the highest level with the latest technology.
The Chess Tigers team, led by main organizer Hans-Walter Schmitt and patron Jens Beutel, Lord Mayor of the Mainz, invites you to the Rheingoldhalle in Mainz from 06-08 August 2010 for three days of chess extravaganza!
Mike Rosa/Eric van Reem

Article Source: Chessbase
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Vasily Smyslov Obituary

Vasily Smyslov
Vasily Smyslov, who has died aged 89, was world chess champion for a year in 1957-58 and among the game's best players for more than two decades. At his peak, Smyslov was renowned for his strategic and end- game play, and more recently he set new achievement records for a grandmaster in old age, reaching the world title semi-finals at 63 and maintaining his strength into his 70s. Yet chess was only his second career option, after he failed to become a singer with the Bolshoi Theatre.
Smyslov was born in Moscow. He learned chess at six from his father, a player of master strength who once won a game from the future world champion Alexander Alekhine. The 14-year-old Smyslov was inspired to take up the game in earnest after watching the Moscow international tournament in 1935. His progress was rapid. He won the Moscow title in 1938, placed third in the 1940 USSR championship, and, most significantly, came third again in the 1941 Soviet "absolute championship", behind only Mikhail Botvinnik and Paul Keres, who at that time were probably the two best players in the world.
Smyslov was excused military service due to poor eyesight, and used the war years to hone his game. He came second to Botvinnik in the 1944 USSR championship, yet still lacked international recognition. The US was the dominant chess power throughout the 1930s, with four successive gold medals between 1931 and 1937 in the biennial team Olympiads. So when the US and USSR met in a 10-board radio match in 1945, the Americans were favourites.
In the event, the Soviet team won 15.5-4.5, a score that included Smyslov's 2-0 victory over the four-time US champion Samuel Reshevsky. The mature style of the young Russian's wins made a big impression, especially the first game where the American was bemused by a prepared opening. After 23 moves the respective clock times read Reshevsky, one hour; Smyslov, three minutes.
Third place behind Botvinnik at Groningen 1946 confirmed Smyslov's position among the elite. That year Alekhine died, leaving a vacant title, and in 1948 a five-player match tournament decided his successor. Smyslov finished runner-up to Botvinnik. He was a decade younger than his rival, and the result established him as the new champion's heir apparent. By now he had perfected an intuitive, strategic style, which relied much more on a finely tuned sense of optimum squares for his pieces than on specific calculation of variations. His opening repertoire favoured long-term plans rather than theoretical debates, exemplified by his quiet 2 Nc3 against the fashionable Sicilian 1 e4 c5 and the several in-depth defensive systems he developed against the Ruy Lopez 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5. He liked the English 1 c4 as a route to simple, clear positions and to the endgames where he had no peers.
At the board Smyslov usually sat immobile, clenched hands to his cheeks. Tall and auburn-haired, he would pace the arena with a leisurely, almost stately mien. He had an individual technique, too, when moving a piece, grasping it midway down its stem rather than near the top as most players do, then placing it on its new square with a slight screwing action. The overall effect was of controlled, assured power.
In 1950 Smyslov, who had a fine baritone voice, was among several hundred singers who entered a national contest for a position at the Bolshoi, failing only at the final shortlist stage. Singing remained one of his great interests and he sometimes gave recitals during chess tournaments, often accompanied by Mark Taimanov, a fellow grandmaster.

Smyslov v Botvinnik, USSR championship, Moscow 1955

Smyslov  
Smyslov beat his great rival in brilliant style by 1 Rd8+! Re8 If Rxd8 2 Qxa4 or Kg7 2 Qf3. 2 Qf3! Qc4 If Rxd8 3 Qf7+ and 4 Qxh7 mate, 3 Rd7! Resigns. If Rf8 4 Rxc7! Qxc7 5 Qxf8+! Rxf8 6 Rxf8+ Kxf8 7 Ne6+ and Nxc7 with an easy endgame win. His bid for the Bolshoi helps explain why he finished only third in the 1950 Budapest Candidates tournament, but he made up for it three years later when winning the Zurich 1953 Candidates, one of the strongest tournaments of all time. From 1953 to 1958 he was in his prime, and fully the equal of Botvinnik; yet the older man held the world title for a total 13 years, as against just one year for Smyslov. The answer lay in Botvinnik's superiority in match play, in preparation, and in using the small print of championship regulations to his advantage.
Botvinnik took an early lead in their 1954 series, exploiting weaknesses in his challenger's openings. Though Smyslov levelled, Botvinnik regained a narrow advantage and kept enough in hand to draw the match 12-12 and retain his title for another three years. Smyslov then won the 1956 Candidates in Amsterdam, and this time came better prepared for the championship. His strategic and endgame skills proved much superior and he won 12.5-9.5 with two games to spare. It was very different in the 1958 mandatory return match, which Smyslov began not fully recovered from a bout of influenza. Botvinnik unleashed the Caro-Kann 1 e4 c6 as an opening surprise, took a 3-0 lead and, though he tired near the finish, regained the title 12.5-10.5. They called Smyslov "the winter king" and his brief tenure seemed to diminish his motivation.
He was still favourite for the next Candidates in Yugoslavia in 1959, where his chief rival was the dazzling new talent Mikhail Tal. Tal specialised in the calculation of complex tactics, the complete antithesis to Smyslov's mastery of positional nuances. Before they met in the first round, Smyslov declared he would punish Tal's unsound style, but it was the younger man who triumphed. Soviet officials, who preferred a Russian to the Latvian Tal as candidate, were then scandalised when the normally staid Smyslov whose wife, Nadezhda Andreevna, had stayed at home in Moscow, started a public relationship with a Yugoslav woman grandmaster that affected his play.
His failure in Yugoslavia seemed to mark the end of Smyslov's career as a serious world-championship contender, but he continued to enjoy high-level success and the creative satisfaction of his artistic games. He won eight successive tournaments in the mid-1960s, with victories ranging from Havana to Hastings and Monte Carlo to Moscow.
Then, to everyone's surprise, he qualified as a candidate again at the age of 62 in 1983, and was paired in his quarter-final with the West German No 1 Robert Hübner. After extra time and a 7-7 scoreline, the organisers decreed that the match should be settled by the roulette wheel in the Austrian casino hosting the match. Smyslov flew back to Moscow without waiting for the denouement, but the wheel stopped at his colour, red, and he advanced. He beat Hungary's Zoltan Ribli in fine style in the semi-final before losing, despite a tough resistance, to the rising star Garry Kasparov in the final.
Smyslov continued to perform at a high level well into his 70s. Nobody of his age had ever maintained grandmaster strength, though later another durable ex-Soviet, Viktor Korchnoi, achieved similar results. In 1991 Smyslov won the inaugural World Senior (over 60) championship, and he had several impressive scores in the annual Veterans v Ladies match. By now his eyesight was deteriorating badly, so that he was virtually calculating without sight of the board.
He could still fight his corner, as when David Bronstein, who had tied for second at Zurich 1953, claimed that Soviet officials had pressured himself and other Russians to arrange results to ensure that Smyslov finished ahead of the American Reshevsky. Smyslov denied any knowledge of pre-game arrangements at Zurich, and countered that Bronstein's own success in the 1950 candidates was deliberately staged when he was a point behind the leader with two rounds left and allowed to catch up.
The title of Smyslov's 1979 autobiography V Poiskakh Harmonii (In Search of Harmony) referred both to his abortive musical career and to his belief that smooth interplay of the pieces was the key to practical success. Grandmasters respected his achievements as an icon of the golden age of Soviet chess and he was often invited as an honorary guest to tournaments.
Smyslov and his wife of more than half a century spent their final few years in near-poverty as his heart ailment deteriorated. Nadezhda survives him.
• Vasily Vasiliyevich Smyslov, chess grandmaster, born 24 March 1921; died 26 March 2010.

Article Source : Guardian

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